LB Port backlog persists

Over 150 ships are currently at our ports, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. 

According to the Marine Exchange of Southern California Facebook page, 158 vessels were in port on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The current number of ships “loitering” tied the record at 44. 70 cargo ships were anchored at the time of the report.

The Marine Exchange is in charge of scheduling the arrival and departure of every ship that docks at the Long Beach and LA ports.

Long Beach residents have become accustomed to seeing these ships scattered throughout the coastal horizon. The environmental impact of these loitering ships has already taken a toll on our neighboring beach communities.  

One of these cargo ship’s anchors is attributed to damaging an oil pipeline off the Huntington Beach coastline resulting in the recent massive oil spill

These ships’ diesel engines may be contributing to the thick yellow haze seen along the coast.

With the holidays upon us this congestion might only get worse as more ships full of consumer goods arrive.

The Long Beach and Los Angeles Ports together handle nearly 40% of seaborne imports for the entire nation. With the completion of the new Gerald Thomas Bridge, the Port of Long Beach can now handle the largest cargo ships. 

President Biden addressed the backlog concerns by authorizing both ports to work 24/7 to try and help with the congestion. It is not clear if both ports have been able to operate at this capacity due to the numerous containers awaiting fulfillment.

He also authorized companies such as Walmart, FedEx, and UPS to work 24/7 to unload these containers. 

With people spending more time at home, consumer demand for products increased. Companies that outsource their products order large quantities to keep with high demand.

The demand of consumers is being met with the arrival of each cargo ship, however, the port system is struggling to offload these ships fast enough.

Legislators are enacting a fine for companies that do not offload their containers from each port in a timely manner.

The fee is $100 per container per day after nine days. This will incentivize companies to unload their cargo faster. This may put more stress on truck drivers however this would allow the loitering cargo ships to offload their cargo at a much faster rate.

By Joshua Villas

Photo Credit : US Coast Guard